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Ocean City Chamber, Main Street Team Up To Promote Downtown Ocean City for the Holidays

An Old-Fashioned Family Christmas in Downtown Ocean City is designed to help boost sales locally. The celebration is set for Fri., Nov. 27 as the center piece of the promotion with events lasting through the holidays.

The Chamber is organizing the event with the assistance of Main Street and the Retail Merchants Assn. And they’re putting some economic muscle behind the party and a holiday long marketing campaign.

The Chamber has sent 14,000 postcards to second homeowners across the region inviting them to shop locally and support the downtown’s 100 plus specialty shops, galleries and restaurants. More than 12,000 emails have also been sent and the event was a highlight on their Facebook page. Additionally, the Chamber will forgo its member Christmas party and instead, ask their members to spend the money they would have spent at the party, for shopping in the downtown. The idea is to transfer party dollars into Christmas gift purchases and to boost the sales of Ocean City merchants.

Marcia Shallcross, Executive Director of Main Street Ocean City, reports that her organization has printed and is distributing more than 10,000 holiday schedules and has pumped advertising money into the Christmas promotion, as well as hiring numerous entertainment acts to perform throughout the day. The City’s Tourism Commission is chipping in too, notes Michael Dattilo, the City’s director of Community Services.

Features of the Nov. 27 celebration that runs from noon till 6 p.m. include a free Children’s Train Ride at City Hall Annex, 901 Asbury Ave., courtesy of Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, free photos with Santa in an Ocean City Lifeboat on City Hall Lawn and celebrity readings and face painting at Stainton’s Square, 810 Asbury Ave. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served at Stainton’s.

Free horse and carriage rides are scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. starting at City Hall, 9th and Asbury Ave.

At 4:30 p.m. there will be a gathering on City Hall steps for community caroling, the lighting of the Christmas Tree, and Santa’s arrival. This year, Akeem Jordan, Linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, will assist city officials in the lighting of the tree.

Santa will arrive in Ocean City just like he did years ago. The Jolly Old Elf will descend from the roof of City Hall with the assistance of the Fire Department’s Holiday Hook and Ladder Truck. This dramatic entrance marks a nostalgic return to how it was done in the 60’s.

Downtown shop keepers will feature specials and restaurants will be open, some offering free refreshments.

For information, call the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, 399-1412 or visit www.oceancityvacation.com, the Public Relations Office 525-9300 or Main Street, 398-4662.